A general reaction when people are presented with the challenge of switching to a whole plant diet is a sense of confusion as to what to buy, cook and eat, now that many of their usual foods are to be eliminated. This radical change to their entire cooking and eating habits of a lifetime is indeed a challenge. This is probably true, but what we eat has been something of a habit over many years, what we have been accustomed to enjoying with family and friends, but not really a habit impossible to change with determination, good organization, and enthusiasm. The good news is that probably over half the world's population are living pretty close to a whole plant diet, not perhaps by choice, but by tradition or by simply the economy of eating vegetables, fruit, and grains and not be being able to afford large amounts of other foods found in our Western diet.
Episode 6. Problems On The Way.
A general reaction when people are presented with the challenge of switching to a whole plant diet is a sense of confusion as to what to buy, cook and eat, now that many of their usual foods are to be eliminated. This radical change to their entire cooking and eating habits of a lifetime is indeed a challenge. This is probably true, but what we eat has been something of a habit over many years, what we have been accustomed to enjoying with family and friends, but not really a habit impossible to change with determination, good organization and enthusiasm. The good news is that probably over half the world's population are living pretty close to a whole plant diet, not perhaps by choice, but by tradition or by simply the economy of eating vegetables, fruit and grains and not be being able to afford large amounts of other foods found in our Western diet. We have all enjoyed eating out at Indian, Arab, Chinese, Thai or Japanese restaurants from time to time, and many of the dishes served in these restaurants traditionally have a very high vegetable grain content and a very low meat, dairy, poultry or fish content, so it does appear that the are thousands of recipes we can use that will give us enjoyable stimulating and tasty dishes despite the fact they may not contain many of the foods we have grown used to having in our meals. At the end of this transcript you will find a list of Internet sites that can provide a host of fascinating recipes, you can also see a list of some of the major recipe books and there are a few apps which give recipes as well. It is even possible to modify many of the recipes you and the family enjoy and have got used to, are by removing some of the non-whole plant food items and maybe modifying some of the flavourings and spices to bring the dish back to the table in a way that people can still enjoy it.
How do you manage when you eat out in restaurants and cafes? Luckily the vast majority of restaurants are now offering a range of dishes that are based on meals without meat, dairy or fish. Some of the dishes are vegetarian, some vegan and some based much more closely on whole plant nutrition. The authors of the 4Leaf Guide and the 4LeafSurvey system have also hit upon an ingenious way not only eating the kind of meals they want but saving money at the same time when they eat out. By going into a restaurant and ordering a dish that may be a Thai prawn curry and requesting the dish without the prawns and requesting they adjust the price. Most restaurants are quite happy to provide such an accommodation, especially if they don't have a vegetarian or vegan alternative to choose from.
Beating your cravings. Most of us have specific foods that we really feel we could hardly live without. Some of the common foods in this category would include cheese, steak, eggs, and perhaps even something as simple as good plain white bread. Luckily most of these cravings tend to be based on habit of eating these foods for a long period of time and these foods should be fairly easy to put aside quickly, but there are foods that also have an addictive quality for a very good reason. It's not well known that every form of milk, whether it is cows milk, goats milk or mouse milk contains what are called caso-morphines, substances which are allied to morphine-like medications and drugs which give a very pleasant experience when consuming them. This is nature's way of ensuring that the young creature, sucking mother's milk should find that experience far more enjoyable than playing or doing anything else to ensure the well-being and growth the the young creature. When we consume concentrated milk products such as cheese, maybe this increased dosage of caso-morphines adds to the attractiveness of the food and this may well be more difficult to leave aside than the ones that we have simply grown accustomed to eating habitually. Cutting these out of our diet is more akin to giving up smoking. There is another attraction which is a genetic element in our make-up designed for our survival, and that is a preference for any foods which have a high calorific density, high-protein or high-fat density so that in times of hardship getting hold of such foods will keep us going for longer than trying to get all our calories from gathering fruits and leaves. In our hunter-gatherer days this made good sense, if you came across an opportunity to catch and eat a small animal, fish or eggs it would add enormously to your survival. Unfortunately, unlike the hunter-gatherer who would have had to seek out the prey, hunt it, kill it and take it back to his cave to eat, today we can simply walk into any supermarket and take as much as we want from the shelves with very little effort and it is this genetic drive towards a higher fat and protein food that encourages to eat an excess of this type of food.
The family and fellow diners. Many people wanting to make a change in their eating habits may have a problem of carrying those around them in the same direction. It becomes quite easy if husband and wife both want to make a change in• their dietary eating habits, but often there are members of the family or fellow diners would rather not take on the same dietary challenge. Here it requires ingenuity on the part of the cook to try to satisfy both groups of people, maybe by keeping the meat, poultry or fish content out till the end of the cooking and adding it to those who want an it. This would be one way of providing a meal for everyone with the same ingredients but some lacking the meat, dairy or fish constituents. Perhaps the most practical approach is to slowly and gently encourage others around you to take on board your new dietary regime by example and through education and understanding why you are making these changes in the first place. Luckily in the recent past there has been a encouraging level of support from nutritional advisers in government and in the medical profession that we all need to move in a direction of more vegetables, fruits and grains and less meat and dairy and refined foods in our diets not only for our own health but for the health of the planet too. This is another factor that will help you on your journey towards the world’s finest diet. Generally it is wise not to be critical of other’s eating habits and to avoid pressing your own dietary choices on others.
Internet sites to visit:
The China Study All-Star Collection by Leanne Campbell
The China Study Cookbook by Leanne Campbell
Forks Over Knives The Cookbook by Del Sroufe
Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn
Forks Over Knives (Recipes) on the App Store HERE
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen HERE
21-Day Vegan Kickstart HERE